Last night I was trying to convey to the members of the Onion River Chorus the impact of listening to Maria Schneider’s extraordinary song cycle Winter Morning Walks for the first time in its entirety. (I had previously only heard excerpts on the Winter Morning Walks website. I ordered the CD and it arrived late yesterday afternoon, giving me just enough time to listen to it before I had to leave for rehearsal.) I botched this story with the chorus, so I’m going to try again.
The musical impact was profound. It gave complete musical satisfaction and I feel nothing but abject admiration for the composer and performers.
But the way it made me feel; how to convey that?
It made me love people I’ve never met, love places I’ve never seen, and hallowed the time spent listening to it so that the experience will remain one of “time out of time” for the rest of my life.
I had to leave the house quickly after the piece was over. I shut the damper on the wood stove, locked the door, and climbed into the car. But then I noticed that I had forgotten to turn on the outside porch light by the front door. Susan was still painting in her studio in Adamant and would come back to a dark, locked front door.
In the grand scheme of things, it would not have been much of a hardship for her to unlock the door without the porch light. Lights from across the street at our neighbor’s house and snow shine would give her enough light to find the lock. But suffused with the love created by Winter Morning Walks I just couldn’t leave the house dark and chilly for Susan’s return. I got out of the car, unlocked the door, turned on the porch light, threw another log on the fire, locked the door again, and left, so grateful to Maria Scnneider, poet Ted Kooser, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra for giving me that additional warmth and light to share with my bride.